I’ve never been in a long term relationship with weight restoration. The phrase itself “weight restoration” was new to me when I entered eating disorder treatment for the first time. Ultimately it means how many calories must I consume daily to be at a healthy weight.
The brains behind this? My dietician. And what a sweet soul she was, and certainly still is for battling my eating disorder along side of me when the battle was anything but peaceful.
Have you ever seen a child have a meltdown in the middle of a grocery store? The tears and rosy cheeks, the inconsolable screaming that seemed to last well, forever? That was me in my dietician’s office in the depths of my eating disorder.
My relationship with my dietician has been the longest standing love-hate relationship I’ve ever been in. The part of me that craves recovery and freedom loves her support, her suggestions, and her ability to manipulate my meal plan to keep me on track.
My eating disorder? It hates her 100% of the time. I think it makes a lot of sense. My anorexia and bulimia feel threatened by her suggestions and wary of her genuine concern and grace she extends me every single session.
Fear of loosing control
I think it has less to do with what she is requesting of me to eat and everything to do with my eating’s disorder’s fear of losing control. And that fear is so legitimate and so emotionally driven that it looks a whole lot like walking out of her office mid-session. Or trying to be deceptive in disclosing my meals for the week. And even cancelling appointments when the very place I need to be is in her presence.
The only person I can think of who was ever more in the trenches than myself in battling this terrible disorder is her, my dietician.
Nowadays, striving to have more days in recovery than in relapse, I find myself drawing on everything she has taught me. I carry her with me nearly every time I go out to eat at a restaurant. I hear her words of reason every time I find myself beginning to cut corners.
Recovering without a dietician was not an option for me. I had such a dysfunctional relationship with food that I needed my only task to be to eat the food.
I believe so strongly in the role of a dietician in healing from an eating disorder that I simply cannot take credit for where I am at today without including her in my narrative.
Face the fear
It can be terrifying to invite a professional into your space. Particularly one who is most likely going to challenge every rule you’re eating disorder has written as law. Do it anyway. My dietician not only helped me weight restore, and weight maintain, but also heal from years of distorted food rules and food preoccupation.
I feel remarkably less terrified of foods that used to be off limits. Why? Because my dietician sat and ate them right next to me and she still remained a beautiful human being.
She took years of restriction and binging and created the one thing I had been most desperate for all along – balance.
I’m grateful for the meltdowns in her office, her consistency in my most erratic times, and her willingness to help me recreate a relationship with food that is sustainable and dare I say, enjoyable. I have endless gratitude for the professionals who battle alongside me, and help so many other woman and men reclaim their lives.
So, if you have people like this in your life, resist the urge to push them away. And if you don’t, seek them out.
It will be scary, but you are stronger than you think, warrior.